Tuesday, 15 June 2010
Prototype - X-Box 360 Videogame Review
Prototype was released on both X-Box 360, and Playstation 3. It was released at the same time as Infamous, a very similar looking game, so was much confusion at the time as to which was which! Both games see you as an ordinary guy who suddenly finds that they have super powers, and both are open world games set in large Cities. I own Infamous, but don't own a PS3 so cannot play it! (all part of a bizarre master plan of mine)
The events of the game mostly take place during 18 days in which a zombie outbreak occurs in New York City. You play as Alex Mercer; a man who wakes up in a morgue and discovers he has monstrous powers, and no memory of his past. Having partial memories he manages to track down his sister, as well as an ex girlfriend. With their help he begins to unravel the mystery of how he got like he is, and also how the zombie outbreak has occurred (it seems to be linked to his condition).
The game is very frustrating I would first point out. It gets harder as you progress, the later missions just are not fun at all due to vast enemy numbers. The game is open world, set in a recreation of New York. I don't know how accurate it is, but it has a central park style area, as well as Times Square. Unlike most City based open world games you mostly cannot use vehicles. Instead you use parkaur techniques to race around the City. Alex can run really fast, and is able to run up the sides of buildings, and jump vast distances. Later you can unlock a glide ability that really lets you traverse the City quickly. The only vehicles you can use are Tanks, and Helicopters, and these are not really that useful for getting about in.
Alex has many many abilities. By completing missions, and killing enemies you get experience points that can be used to buy new powers. Alex is able to turn his arm into a knife, a sword, a whip, and turn his arms into stone. Each of these powers has lots and lots of unlockable abilities to them. You can also unlock abilities that increase your health, regen powers, and grant you shields, and armour. For the most part you really do not need all these powers, I only used a fraction of them.
Alex is able to absorb any person in the game. Doing so gives him the ability to morph into their likeness. This is mostly used to sneak into Military bases by being disguised as a Soldier. There are around 130 special characters in the game. Absorbing these characters give you a small snippet of their memories which is shown to you via a small conversation, and various still images, and real life photographs. These are really cool, and despite their amount are very addictive to see. They reveal a lot more of the story than is actually shown during the games brief cut scenes.
There are lots of missions, but even more side quests. Side Quests take on the form of several different activities. There are agility ones where you must get to a series of checkpoints for instance, as well as lots of different combat missions. In some you are given a certain weapon or power to use, in others you are assigned to either the Military side or Infected side and must help them win a small battle. Also hidden around the City are about 250 orbs, so lots of collectibles.
The main enemies you face are Infected and the Army. The Army consists of soldiers with machine guns, and rocket launchers, as well as shed loads of tanks and helicopters. The Infected consists of lots of very weak zombies, as well as larger monster type creatures that are able to leap giant distances, and give you grief if your not careful. The game takes place during an increasingly bad zombie Armageddon, so the City becomes more and more destroyed as the game progresses. Infected areas are full of burning buildings, crashed cars, and civilians running around screaming, while non infected areas are far more calm, and bright looking.
Combat can be quite frustrating, the ability to pick up anything from cars to helicopters and hurl them at enemies is a very welcome touch, as is the ability to scale absolutely anything you can see, but the amount of rockets and bullets heading your way just leads to frustration as your blasted all over the shop. I'm sure the games difficulty could have been handled better, as it is the game is only fun until just over half way through, and then the missions just become a total slog against constantly respawning enemies. Least there are lots of check points for in case you die.
I like the game, it is very good looking, very gory, and was a surprise that it featured zombie Armageddon so prominently (something that Crackdown 2 seems to be copying). If you do get this be aware it gets super hard, and not a lot of fun later on.